U.S. Gluten-Free Labelling: It’s Your Say!

It would appear that pressure on the federal government from Celiac groups and other people who want better food labelling on wheat products is paying off in the U.S.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has re-opened a comment period for consumers and is making available a safety assessment of gluten exposure for people with celiac disease.

The following is from an FDA press release:

One of the criteria proposed is that foods bearing the [gluten-free] claim cannot contain 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten. The agency based the proposal, in part, on the available methods for gluten detection. The validated methods could not reliably detect the amount of gluten in a food when the level was less than 20 ppm. The threshold of less than 20 ppm also is similar to “gluten-free” labeling standards used by many other countries.

The proposed rule conforms to the standard set by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in 2008, which requires that foods labeled as “gluten-free” not contain more than 20 ppm gluten. This standard has been adopted in regulations by the 27 countries composing the Commission of European Communities.

The comment period is 60 days, starting from August 3, 2011 (Sorry, I only learned about this yesterday).  To submit your comments online go to http://www.regulations.gov/ and

1. Choose “Submit a Comment” from the top task bar
2. Enter the docket number FDA-2005-N-0404 in the “Keyword” space
3. Select “Search”

To submit your comments by mail, use the following address and include docket number FDA-2005-N-0404 on each page of your written comments:

The Division of Dockets Management
HFA-305
Food and Drug Administration
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061
Rockville, MD 20852

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